5. Bradley Beal, Washington
The Washington Wizards selected shooting guard Bradley Beal with the third pick to solidify an exciting, young and unaccomplished backcourt. Beal immediately bolsters the Wizards guard rotation and will be able to grow organically alongside third-year burgeoning star point guard John Wall.
Perhaps mislabeled as a knockdown shooter, Beal has been unfairly compared to all-time three-point leader and future Hall of Famer Ray Allen. Beal certainly loves taking the three (he launched five per game during his freshman year at Florida), but his pedestrian average of 33.9 percent reveals that his range may need some work. Many people point to the nearly perfect form he has on his jumper and preach patience, saying the three ball will fall for him as a pro. So far, not quite so good for Beal. He shot 30 percent from deep at Summer League and an even worse 28 percent in eight preseason games.
Beal should be able to score in the NBA right away as he makes up for his lack of height with a strong frame and great athleticism, and like his new backcourt mate Wall, he can get to the rack when he needs to and will not shy from contact (he got to the free-throw line more than seven times a game in Vegas). He averaged double-digit points in Summer League and in preseason play and should get plenty of shot opportunities right away for the Wizards.
He’ll be near the top of rookie wings in both rebounds and steals this year, which will help fill the stat sheet and gain attention for his Rookie of the Year campaign. However, if Beal wants to walk away with the Rookie of the Year hardware next spring, he’s going to need to put up big points on a nightly basis, as he has to deal with the stiff competition from the rest of the top-five guys on this list.